Sunshine Ligustrum Losing Leaves? Here’s What You Need to Know

  • By: Michael Barnes
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Sunshine Ligustrum is a popular evergreen shrub known for its bright yellow-green foliage, easy maintenance, and pest and disease resistance. However, like any plant, it can develop issues, including losing leaves. Here are some possible causes and solutions:

First of all check for proper watering your plan. Most of the time if your Sunshine Ligustrum is losing leaves, the cause could be due to watering, pests, fungal diseases, nutrient deficiencies, or temperature.

Sunshine Ligustrum Losing Leaves: Key Takeaways

  • Sunshine Ligustrum drops 30 to 40 leaves every day during winter, which may be normal.
  • If older leaves are being replaced by newer leaves, then it’s not a cause for concern.
  • Inadequate or excessive watering can cause leaves to drop.
  • Pests like aphids, honey fungus, and scales can weaken the plant and cause leaves to drop.

Reasons for Leaves Dropping on Sunshine Ligustrum and Quick Fixes:

Reasons for Leaves DroppingQuick Fixes
Normal shedding during winterNo action needed if older leaves are being replaced by newer leaves
Inadequate or excessive wateringAdjust watering schedule to provide consistent moisture
Pest infestationUse insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to control pests
Nutrient deficienciesApply slow-release fertilizer or amend soil with compost or organic matter
Extreme temperaturesMove the plant to a more sheltered area or use protective coverings during cold weather
Fungal diseasesPrune affected areas, dispose of fallen leaves, and apply a fungicide

Sunshine Ligustrum is a low-maintenance shrub that can grow well in various conditions. Regular inspections and appropriate treatments can help prevent or fix issues related to leaves dropping.

Sunshine Ligustrum Losing Leaves

Why is sunshine ligustrum is still losing leaves?

Is your Sunshine Ligustrum shedding leaves? Don’t worry, it’s a common problem with many causes. Maybe it needs some time to settle into its new home after you bring it back from the nursery. Or, it could be due to watering issues that are hard to detect. But fear not, this hardy, evergreen, golden-hued shrub is a perfect addition to any garden, especially as a hedge, and thrives in full sun.

Sunshine Ligustrum can handle any weather, but prolonged wetness could be the one thing to kill it. Poor drainage is another culprit. To keep it healthy, regularly trim dead branches and leaves that could harm the rest of the plant. And watch out for pesky fig rust, a major cause of leaf loss. With a little TLC, your Sunshine Ligustrum will be the shining star of your garden in no time!

How to fertilize sunshine ligustrum?

To fertilize Sunshine Ligustrum, you can follow these steps:

  1. Choose the right time: The best time to fertilize Sunshine Ligustrum is during its active growing season, which is typically in spring and summer.
  2. Select a suitable fertilizer: Use a slow-release fertilizer specifically formulated for evergreen shrubs. Look for a balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. A 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 blend is ideal.
  3. Apply the fertilizer: Spread the fertilizer evenly around the base of the plant, taking care not to get it on the leaves. Water the plant thoroughly after applying the fertilizer.
  4. Repeat as necessary: Depending on the type of fertilizer you use, you may need to reapply it every few months. Be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package.
  5. Monitor the plant: Watch for any signs of over-fertilization, such as yellowing or burning of the leaves. If you notice these signs, stop fertilizing and water the plant thoroughly to help flush out any excess fertilizer.

By following these steps, you can help ensure that your Sunshine Ligustrum gets the nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong.

Planting Conditions

Sunshine Ligustrum is a hardy and adaptable plant that can grow well in a variety of planting conditions. Here are some planting conditions to consider for this plant:

  1. Sunlight: Sunshine Ligustrum thrives in full sun to partial shade. It needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to grow healthy and produce flowers and fruits.
  2. Soil: This plant can grow in a wide range of soil types, but it prefers well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. If your soil is heavy clay or compacted, mix in organic matter like compost or peat moss to improve drainage.
  3. Water: Sunshine Ligustrum is drought-tolerant and can handle periods of dry soil, but it also prefers moist soil. Water the plant deeply once a week during dry spells or when the top inch of soil feels dry.
  4. Temperature: This plant is adaptable to a range of temperatures and can grow in USDA hardiness zones 6-10.
  5. Space: Depending on the variety, Sunshine Ligustrum can grow as a small ball-shaped shrub or a larger tree-shaped plant. When planting, give the plant enough space to grow to its full size.

By planting your Sunshine Ligustrum in the right conditions, you can help ensure that it grows healthy, produces flowers and fruits, and provides an attractive addition to your garden.

Sunshine Ligustrum Losing Leaves? Here's What You Need to Know

Frost Conditions

FactorImpact on Sunshine Ligustrum
HardinessSunshine Ligustrum is hardy in USDA zones 6-10 and can tolerate winter temperatures down to -10°F (-23°C)
Young PlantsYoung plants with a less established root system may be more susceptible to frost damage
ExposureSunshine Ligustrum in exposed or elevated areas may be more susceptible to frost damage than those planted in sheltered areas
WateringAvoid watering in the evening during colder months to prevent moisture on the leaves and branches from freezing overnight
Frost DamageFrost damage may appear as brown or black spots on the leaves or branches. Prune away any damaged areas and keep the plant well-watered to help it recover

Overall, Sunshine Ligustrum is a hardy plant that can tolerate some frost conditions, but it’s important to take precautions to protect it during extreme cold snaps.

Does sunshine ligustrum have an invasive nature?

Sunshine Ligustrum (ligustrum sinense ‘Sunshine’) is not considered an invasive species, but it can spread readily in some growing conditions. It is not listed on any invasive species lists by state or federal agencies in the United States.

However, it’s important to note that some species of Ligustrum have become invasive in certain regions. For example, the non-native species Ligustrum japonicum and Ligustrum vulgare have been declared invasive in some parts of the southeastern United States.

If you have any concerns about invasive plant species in your area, it’s always a good idea to check with your local agricultural extension office or environmental agency for guidance on what plants are best suited for your region.

What grows perfectly with sunshine ligustrum?

Sunshine Ligustrum is a versatile and low-maintenance plant that can be paired with a variety of other plants in a garden or landscape. Here are some plants that grow well with Sunshine Ligustrum:

Plant NamePlant TypeGrowing Conditions
Knock Out RosesShrubFull sun to partial shade, well-drained soil
Dwarf GardeniasShrubFull sun to partial shade, well-drained soil
LiriopePerennialPartial to full shade, well-drained soil
Indian HawthornShrubFull sun to partial shade, well-drained soil
Japanese MaplesTreePartial shade to full sun, well-drained soil
Encore AzaleasShrubFull sun to partial shade, well-drained soil
HostasPerennialPartial to full shade, well-drained soil
BoxwoodShrubFull sun to partial shade, well-drained soil

How to fix leaf drop issue in sunshine ligustrum?

If you’re experiencing excessive leaf drop in your Sunshine Ligustrum, there are several steps you can take to address the issue:

  1. Check the soil moisture: Over-watering or under-watering can cause leaf drop in Sunshine Ligustrum. Check the soil moisture level with a moisture meter or by digging down a few inches to determine if the plant is getting too much or too little water. Adjust watering accordingly.
  2. Check for pests: Pests such as aphids, scales, and spider mites can cause leaf drop in Sunshine Ligustrum. Check the plant regularly for signs of pest infestation and treat with an appropriate pesticide if necessary.
  3. Improve drainage: Poor drainage can cause root rot and lead to leaf drop in Sunshine Ligustrum. Ensure that the plant is in well-draining soil and consider amending the soil with organic matter to improve drainage.
  4. Fertilize: Lack of nutrients can also cause leaf drop in Sunshine Ligustrum. Apply a balanced fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions to provide the plant with the necessary nutrients.
  5. Prune: Dead, damaged or diseased branches can cause stress to the plant and lead to leaf drop. Prune these branches to remove the stress and promote healthy growth.
  6. Be patient: It’s normal for Sunshine Ligustrum to lose some leaves, especially during winter months. If new leaves are growing and the plant is otherwise healthy, it may just need time to adjust and recover.

By taking these steps, you can address leaf drop in Sunshine Ligustrum and help the plant to thrive.


Is it normal for sunshine ligustrum to lose leaves during winter?

Yes, it is normal for sunshine ligustrum to lose some leaves during the winter season.

How much leaf drop is considered normal?

A low pace of leaf dropping is normal. Around 30 to 40 leaves per day during winter is considered normal.

When should I start worrying about excessive leaf dropping?

If you notice too much shedding, it’s best to consider it as a big issue and start looking for the root cause.

What are the main reasons for sunshine ligustrum losing leaves?

The main reasons for sunshine ligustrum losing leaves include inadequate or excessive watering, pests like aphids and scales, disease, poor soil drainage, and transplant shock.

How can I fix the issue of sunshine ligustrum losing leaves?

Some of the solutions to fix the issue of sunshine ligustrum losing leaves include correcting watering habits, using pesticides to treat pests, improving soil drainage, adding organic matter to the soil, and pruning dead branches and leaves.

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